Where to take my wife for her birthday dinner
My wife is a frequent chow hound visitor/contributor, she always knows the best, newest spots in the area. I just follow along...
I would like to find someplace new ( to us ), to dazzle her for her birthday. Good food, a destination rather than a neighbourhood restaurant. I am willing to travel around the bay area, but SF or Oakland/Berkeley are the closest.
Any one have any thoughts?
I agree -- can you give us something more to work with besides "any destination restaurant" in either Oakland or SF?
Have you been to all of these?
It's certainly not "new" by any definition, but Masa's is in my opinion one of the best dining experiences in the City. I took my partner there for his birthday last October, and upon leaving he announced, "That's my favorite restaurant." We've had two outstanding meals there in the last year.
Other good options that aren't on your list:
Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton
I think I must be one of the very few not blown away by Masa.At least the one in NYC. It was lovely and the service was outstanding, but it was sort of... I don't know... monotonous after a while. I guess at those prices, they have to keep going and going, but I'd much rather settle in at Per Se. Hey! Maybe the OP can fly in to NYC for dinner. Now THAT would be a great Birthday dinner! :-}
Masa's in SF is completely unrelated to Masa in NYC. Masa's in SF began w/ chef Masataka Kobayashi (I had my 21st birthday there a few months before he was murdered), and was also the home of Julian Serrano and Ron Siegel. It has always been high end French, though it took on a Japanese accent under Siegel, who was fascinated by that cuisine after his Iron Chef victory. Masa in NYC is the current restaurant of Masa Takayama, who used to preside over his high end sushi temple in a little strip mall on Rodeo Drive.
And if the OP's wife is anything like me, she'd be extra jazzed to have her birthday dinner at Ubuntu, Manresa, or Coi (if the others are too far to drive). At least those are the places I'm pondering for #45.